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Oakland police prepare to crack down on sideshows

The Oakland Police Department (OPD) has increased its response following recent sideshow activity. Last Sunday, a large contingent of law enforcement officers took the streets to combat the illegal gatherings, which are informal demonstrations of automotive stunts, often held in vacant lots or in public intersections. This weekend, they will do the same. Officers will be accompanied by air support along with regional law enforcement partners, teaming up to deter sideshow participation by issuing citations, making arrests and towing vehicles….

Oakland Diocese releases information on sexual abuse, but victim advocates are skeptical

Fifteen years ago, Dan McNevin and two other men sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, alleging that a priest at a church in Niles had abused them as children. At first, McNevin felt validated. It seemed like he might finally get justice and hold the diocese accountable. As he told the press at the time, going public and confronting what had happened seemed like the only way to move forward. Then the backlash followed. “I was ridiculed. I was…

Dream Beyond Bars report offers a new way to study the effects of youth incarceration

About two years ago, when Xochtil Larios was in Alameda County Juvenile Hall in San Leandro, she decided to do more than just participate in classes and programs. “I didn’t feel like it was enough for me. I felt like the girls in there deserved better,” she said. During a session on vision boarding, Larios met staff members from Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), an Oakland nonprofit that works to empower young people affected by the criminal justice…

Alameda County supervisors vote to to scale back, shift focus of Urban Shield

After more than five hours of public comment and heated debate, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to approve nearly all of an ad hoc committee’s recommendations to demilitarize the county’s controversial Urban Shield annual training program. They voted 4-0 to eliminate SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) deployment exercises and the event’s weaponry and military gadget show, shifting the focus of the training event to natural disaster preparedness. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office launched the annual Urban…

Local nonprofit offers support for formerly incarcerated people

Community Works is a nonprofit organization in Oakland that provides services for formerly incarcerated people. These include parenting classes and groups that help men discuss ways they can overcome “toxic” masculine behaviors. For the past year, Community Works has hosted a weekly “restorative justice circle,” also known as a “citizens’ circle,” in their office for people who have been paroled after initially being sentenced to life in prison. There are two separate groups that meet on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to…

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